Feeding:-  One of the last frontiers

I have come a long way in my understanding of the modern budgerigar since I started breeding bush or pet type budgies in my youth. My first breeding cabinet was a wooden fruit case, wow I must be old,  how many can remember when fruit was delivered to Greengrocers in wooden cases and we all had a backyard incinerator.

Feeding consisted of only White French Millet seed Hulled Oats and water with a few crystals of Potassium Permanganate (Condy’s Crystals) added. On the odd occasional some seeding grasses when the seasons allowed.

Now it is quite different I have a better, but in no way complete, understanding of the dietary needs of my budgies. That is why I have entitled this as ‘One of the last frontiers’ The exact feeding requirements of a budgerigar has never had the in depth study that has been done in the Poultry industry or the Pigeon fancy for that matter. So it is still very much trial and error as can be witnessed by the many and varied feeding regimes of the top breeders both here in Australia and overseas.

I believe there are different feeding requirements depending upon what the birds are doing or what stage of their life cycle they are in. e.g. An adult bird in the flight does not have the same dietary requirements as say a Nest-feather breaking his cap and moulting into adult feather or parents feeding a nest box full of chicks. I feed my birds quite differently throughout the year depending entirely upon what the individual birds are doing at that time.  I have six  feeding levels based on the following activities:-

a)  Non-moulting adults in the flight

b) Moulting adults in the flight

c) Adults in the Breeding Cabinet prior to chicks

d) Adults in the Breeding Cabinet with chicks

e) Nest-feathers in the ‘Nappy Cage’

f) Nestfeathers in the flight moulting into adults.

The feed I supply the birds comes from the following sources. The amount and type of feed is dependent upon  which category  the birds fit into in (a) to (f) above.

i) Three millet mix. I do not vary the ratio of the different Millet’s as some breeders do.  From observation each breeding pair has  favorite seeds they prefer to feed and will select those Millet’s and leave the others. It is pointless increasing say Canary Millet in the mix when some pairs are feeding very little of it to their young.

ii) Soaked Oats and Wheat.

iii) Vegetable Mix ( Corn, Carrot, Snow Peas, Parsley, Mint, Beetroot and hard boiled egg)

iv) Soaked Panorama Millet sprays

v) White French Millet Sprays

v1) Silver beet

v11) Fred Sherman Soft Food*

v111) Fledgling Mix + The Good Oil for Birds

* The preparation of the above can be found on the recipe page.


My favourites

Images of your prize birds